Adobe strikes back at Apple over iPad/Flash debacle

Adobe strikes back at Apple over iPad/Flash debacle

Summary: We reported recently that Apple CEO Steve Jobs lashed out a bit at Google and Adobe, calling the latter "lazy," and accusing their Flash software of being a regular culprit when an Apple computer crashes. Well, Adobe has something to say about that.


Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently lashed out a bit at Google and Adobe, calling the latter "lazy," and accusing their Flash software of being a regular culprit when an Apple computer crashes. Well, Adobe has something to say about that.

It's not clear what sparked Jobs' comments, but there was some rampant discussion on the interwebs when it was discovered during Apple's press event dedicated to the iPad that the tablet device obviously isn't Flash compatible (see photo above). It became even worse when Apple tried to pretend it did in a promo clip on their website and soon pulled it due to backlash. So perhaps Jobs just wanted to hash out that Flash wasn't necessary on the new device - or at all.

It's not pointedly directed back towards Jobs' comments, but Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch has penned a response about the lack of Flash on a recently announced "magical device." (Wonder what that could be...)

First, apparently Flash was designed with tablet computers in mind (15 years ago?). But beyond being useful in computer browsers, its also vital to the smartphone market, namely in the upcoming Google Nexus One. (We can definitely see where the lines are being drawn.)

While Lynch concedes that HTML has evolved, particularly with version 5, we won't be saying goodbye to Flash anytime "in the foreseeable future."

As for where Flash stands on Apple products? Lynch says they've been making progress with the iPhone, developing standalone apps built in Flash, which he says should work on the iPad as well. But apparently it's Apple who is not cooperating and enabling Flash in their devices' browsers.

So, who is right and who is wrong? It seems like there are some serious communication problems going on here. Or has this just turned into one big Silicon Valley catfight?

[Image via Engadget]

Topics: Laptops, Apple, Browser, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Mobility, Software Development, Tablets

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • HTML5 is the future. Flash is here today and FREE. H.264 will cost you.

    All web developers wish the best outcome for HTML5.

    There are many issues to be worked out and HTML5 testing (Youtube) is ongoing.

    In the meantime, Adobe is here TODAY with free Flash technology.

    Flash is ubiquitous and has become the 'de facto' standard for rich web application content.

    Maybe Apple doesn't mind if everyone uses H.264 in HTML5 video, but, given that H.264 is patent encumbered, there are legitimate licensing concerns that potentially might result in users (you) paying the patent license holders a fee for its use in HTML5 which Apple is banking on.

    Read Mozilla's take on H.264 here:

    Mozilla won't support H.264 in HTML5 video tags and quite frankly I don't blame them.
    • H.264 is free to stream (until 2016, anyway.) [nt]

      • Cite your source please.

        • Would take you about 9 seconds...

          Would take you about 9 seconds to google it.

          • Would have taken the user even less.

            Those kind of statements should be accompanied by a link.

      • Only free for free content

        If you charge for a title (e.g. app) or
        subscription a license is required to stream
      • H.264 is free to stream (until 2016, anyway.)

        As I understand it, it's like MP3. Which means that the royalty fee will be
        built into the compression-decompression software (price). Amortized
        across X number of sales, the cost to consumers shouldn't even be
        • Yeah right...... maybe in a perfect world

          But we are living in an imperfect one where these things DO have a cost to customers..... lock-in, to name one.
  • why cant i use flash in a jail broken phone?

    Why not support one of the jail breakers?

    Go underground if you have to.

    I would jail break my phone to get flash.
    • You'd have to install an alternate browser but you can't

      Welcome to Apple vendor lock-in.

      I have three browsers and 1 Youtube player on my Nokia N95 smartphone:

      o Nokia (webkit)
      o Opera Mini
      o SkyFire (runs flash)
      o Youtube Player

      Nokia: No jailbreaking required. Life is good.
      • Synthmeister

        They obviously won't run the abomination otherwise know as Flash, but
        there are several other browsers available for the iPhone in the App
        Please don't talk about things you haven't actually verified.
        • Other browsers? Show me. I am from Missouri

          • optional browsers

            If you open up iTunes, type in "Browsers" in the search field, several
            browsers show up, both free and paid.

            Full Browser, Full Screen Web Browser, Hot Browser and Bolt IE Browser
            are a few that show up.
          • optional browsers...not really

            And everyone of them is just a skin for Safari. There are no optional browsers on a non-jailbroken iPhone.
          • Thanks. I could tell the guy had an 'attitude' problem

  • RE: Adobe strikes back at Apple over iPad/Flash debacle

    I'm tired of this Jesus complex Steve Jobs has. He has to know that 90% of all Apple customers, specifically Mac owners buy Macs to run Adobe's Creative Suite packages. 90% of those customers are also creative professionals. Apple and Adobe have always gone hand-in-hand like coffee and cream. Flash is integral to creative web design because it picks up where HTML 5, JavaScript and CSS3 leave off. The web isn't static anymore. Neither functionally nor creatively. Apple NEEDS to understand that. Apple also needs to understand that they cannot define what the end user wants. If your devices aren't powerful enough to run Flash, make more powerful devices. Eventually, this will come to fruition because the end user will demand it. In case he hasn't noticed, a true iPhone killer isn't far behind and the iPhone wave has to hit shore eventually.
    • Adobe CS has nowhere near 90% Mac penetration

      Adobe began to slide when the pretty much left Apple for dead
      around the late 90's, and started releasing for Windows first and Apple

      Also, they refused to let Apple use display postscript for OS X (so they
      used PDF instead).

      Adobe would have died in the 80's had it not been for Mac--Apple
      was the only one forward thinking (or demanding enough) to use
      Postscript back in those days.

      I really get tired of people claiming people use Macs for 'graphics' that
      is about 15 years out of date at this point.

      Adobe needs to put some serious work into their Mac products, or to
      improve flash in some way, but I don't expect either one to happen at
      this point.

      Adobe needs Apple a lot more than the other way around, wether they
      realize it or not.
      • PDF?

        <i>Also, they refused to let Apple use display postscript for OS X (so they used PDF instead).</i>

        Uhhh, dude? Adobe originated PDF also . . .

        And anyone wanting to publish ANYTHING back then had to use Postscript. I had several programs on my Atari ST that used it . . .

        Adobe will be able to survive quite nicely without Apple, thank you very much. But can Apple keep going on without Flash? Who knows?
      • Apple would have died had it not been for Adobe

        Microsoft and others hand soundly beaten Apple out of almost every other market they tried to enter, the one fortress that Apple managed to cling onto was graphic designers and artists.

        If it wasn't for that one safe-haven continuing to fund Apple's existence, they'd have died long ago.

        Perhaps Microsoft's 1997 commitment to continue releasing MacOffice for MacOS for a further five years also provided a lifeline to help keep the company afloat?

        The iPod provided Apple the cash, marketing vehicle, etc., that has sealed their return from oblivion.

        Remember, in 1997, Apple lost over $1Bn. In 1998, they hit their lowest revenues in 7 years and was the third consecutive year of declining annual revenues.

        Make no mistake - Apple was VERY close to collapse in the late 90's and was the catalyst for the board's decision to oust Amelio and the return of Jobs.

        Who needs who today is an interesting question. Considering Apple's refusal to port Carbon to x64, forcing Adobe to have to rewrite Photoshop for Cocoa, Apple have not helped one of their primary markets move forward into the world of 64-bit computing.

        This has forced A LOT of previously Mac-only companies to use PC's which run Photoshop x64 very well indeed or to Linux & a variety of OSS alternatives (many in-house proprietary apps).

        Apple has become a little blase about their markets of late and are aparrently pandering to the consumer masses rather than creating products and platforms that delight core businesses that will be their mainstay should Apple's retail sales/margins drop for whatever reason.

        It'll be interesting to see if Jobs' focus on the consumer will be a wise decision long-term.
        • And Microsoft wouldn't exist if not for IBM...

          Which all makes your pontificating about Apple's existence or not obvious as the lame red herring it is.